FAULT Future: Wild Swim

Wild Swim

‘The Best of Oxford’ is a collaboration between Oxford promotions group PinDrop and Buffalo Bar in Islington. The night sees the venue play host to three local bands of the Oxford music scene on the last Tuesday of every month. Headlining the bill this month was much feted up and comers Wild Swim.

Wild Swim recently recorded their first single ‘Echo’, produced by Steve Osborne (the man behind Cat’s Eyes eponymous debut album) and accompanied by B-side ‘Bright Eyes’, which is set to be released on 26th November. The bar has already been set pretty high in the last few years with Oxford spawning Indie-Pop bands such as Foals, Young Knives and Stornoway but these five lads are definitely on their way to punching their weight with them.

Wild Swim are technically accomplished for their age – something that is no doubt strengthened by the eight years they have spent playing together. Their vocals resonate with a sound that seems much older than they actually are and their recording of the single ‘Echo’ is highly polished. At first listening, it is easy to draw comparisons with bands such as Wild Beasts and Chapel Club, mainly due to that distinctive vocal style; however this track doesn’t do nearly enough justice to the diversity of their live set.

On stage, singer Richard Sansom adds a breathy, Lana Del Ray style vocal to melancholic synth playing consistently through second song ‘Bright Eyes’, positioned as close to the crowd as possible and swaying from side to side with eye-lids flickering. In other songs, Sansom’s voice breaks to Alex Clare heights accompanied by deep backing vocals, haunting layers of tremolo picking and repetitive riffs. Wild Swim recently supported the bands Egyptian Hip Hop and Django Django at SWN festival in Cardiff last month and it’s clear from their developing stage presence and the strong dynamics at the root of their songs that this band will be one to watch.

We sat down with Richard (vocals) and Jacob (bass) after the gig to find out more about them.

FAULT: How would you describe Wild Swim?


When did you start playing together?

We’ve been together in various forms since we were 12 and we’re all 20 now. We’ve had a lot of changes; we’ve had changes of band members and we’ve had many, many name changes before we finally settled on Wild Swim. We were called Picture House for quite a while but then this Irish band from the ‘90s reformed and tried to sue us so we didn’t take them on. Terrible name [anyway].

What are your main influences?

We draw inspiration from lots of different genres… For example, Jamie and Carlos, the two guitarists, they’re also DJs – so we like techno. We don’t incorporate a lot of it, it doesn’t influence my singing for example, but we like techno.

What song have you been listening to this week?

Grizzly Bear – Yet Again.

What is your FAULT?

If Myself, Jacob and Sam are left on our own nothing gets done, things get broken. The other two left us to practice once and while they were gone we had an indoor fireworks session and did a five hour DJ set!

Check out Echo here:


Words by Rebecca Hopkins
Photography by Eva Cookney